This story is part of the Inclusive employment series.
Adopting more inclusive employment practices delivers benefits for businesses, employees and the community as a whole. Studies show that many people with a disability want to work and, given the opportunity, they can become a valuable asset to the business.
Employing people with diverse abilities also makes good business sense. They bring a wealth of new ideas, talents and experiences, help to build organisational resilience and improve the businesses’ ability to connect with customers in a meaningful way.
“It’s been said that organisations with inclusive cultures are three times more likely to be high
performing, eight times more likely to have better overall business outcomes, and twice as likely to exceed financial targets.” (Fostering an inclusive culture is a business imperative, not a trend.)
More diverse talent pool.
One in five people in Australia live with a disability. A more inclusive approach means a larger pool of prospective talent. By investing in inclusive people and culture strategies, your business may access to up to 20% more candidates.
Fill skills gaps.
Broadening your talent pool can also help to fill internal skills gaps and bring new proficiencies. And the statistics tell us that people with disabilities are investing in education and skill development. According to ADCET, up to 17% have a bachelor degree or higher and 28% a certificate level qualification.
Workplaces where team members show empathy towards each other have more cohesive teams, increased productivity and better morale. Learning about the experiences and challenges of other people, develops empathy, improves mutual understanding and enhances team spirit.
In a dynamic and continuously evolving business landscape, resilience is critical for organisations to survive and thrive. Diverse firms are more innovative, develop more accurate forecasts and are better at proactively adapting to crises, contributing to resilience and long-term success according to a study on the role of diversity in organisational resilience.
The advantages of being employed are the same for people with a disability as they are for all members of our community – a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging. Being employed makes us feel more empowered and more in control of our lives while also decreasing reliance on social services and other agencies.
“We know that sustained, meaningful employment gives people a sense of identity and self-worth, increased confidence and expanding social networks. It also leads to financial independence and opportunities to gain skills, knowledge and develop a career.” – Matt Little, CEO of CoAct.10
People with diverse abilities bring a different perspective to the workplace and their teams. Some may have experienced challenges and hurdles that develop resilience, determination and courage, essential skills for innovation, solving problems and overcoming challenges.
Reflect your community.
As a business, it is in your best interest for employees to reflect the community you serve. With more than 4 million Australians living with disability, chances are some of those people are your customers. Having a more representative workforce helps you to connect with customers, understand their needs and develop more creative ways to engage.
Positive customer perception.
Companies that recruit from a wide range of backgrounds and are known for embracing differences build a reputation as an employer of choice. Being inclusive can generate goodwill which delivers competitive advantages, builds your brand reputation and provides a point of difference from the competition.
For more information about inclusive employment, check out our Inclusive employment page or download the full version of the free Leap in! ebook, Inclusive employment: A comprehensive guide for creating a culture of inclusion for disabled people in your organisation.
The information provided here is general in nature only and does not constitute business financial or legal advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your business objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any of this information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your business objectives, financial/legal situation and needs.